Humble hope. It almost sounds like a oxymoron. Most of us would not sign up for a opportunity to be humbled. Very few desire and want to go through the test that forges humility. Why? We tend to think of humility as painful instead of hopeful.
My son has a bracelet that contains both drops of water from Mt. Everest and mud from the valley. The message it conveys is: sometimes your on top of the world; stay humble. Sometimes you’re at a low; stay hopeful. That got me to thinking how true humility is always hopeful.
When my son first began riding bulls he could do no wrong seemed like. Everything he touched turned into gold. However, about a year ago the tables turned. He started bucking off bulls he would’ve rode the year before. He had TWO championships (one in Tennessee and one in Alabama) lost on the last ride of the season, after he had been in first place ALL year. All his hard work, try, and prayers seemed to be paid to another. The only time he sat in second in both organizations for that year was when they handed the buckles out. That weighs on you.( The mental and emotional took of this sport is unparrelled) What seemed stolen from him those two times I now realize that God gave him something far better than any buckle, something that will have a lasting impact for his life ,not just for a season- humility.
You can’t buy it, you have to earn it.
The greatest thing about true humility is that it stays hopeful. Through it all he’s been down, but he has yet to call himself out.Not once has he thought about quitting, not once have I heard him degrade himself. He still believes that he’ll be in the PBR one day. He still believes even after being knocked off his pedestal. What a testament for the believer; To believe even in the valley.
Sometimes it feels like we are invincible, other times we are picking the mud out of our teeth. We look around and we can say “it’s not fair…” or we can let the taste of that mountain drive us right back to the top.
We all will face seasons where it seems like nothing can go right. We all will have times when we find ourselves covered head to toe in mud. The word has much to say about humility: “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God and in the proper time he will esteem you.” (1 Peter 5:6)” God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6) that’s just the tip of the iceberg, but what those two verse tell us is : That grace will lift us up out of the mud bog that threatens to retain us forever.
Humility is a state of the soul, not a state of occupation. Meaning we weren’t meant to stay grappling about in the mud; it’s just a temporary place of occupation. But Our preoccupation with our occupation may hold us there. What I mean is, we can become so distracted about our current state that we miss the ride back to the top. God uses the mud to make us able to appreciate the mountain. I think so often we struggle with the thought of humility because we have determined it keeps us bound in the mud. On contare, biblical humility lifts us up, It exalts us to a place of usefulness for the kingdom. The mud prepares us for the mountain.
I find it interesting that mud is often used as an exfoliate. Spas use it to take out the toxins within the body. That’s exactly what happens to us spiritually when we find ourselves in a mud bog- all the toxins are being drawn out of our souls.
Psalms 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for the Lord: he inclined to me and heard my voice. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.”
The valley isn’t as bad as we make it out to be, after all it’s the place where perspective is created. We only have two choices when we find ourselves chest high in the muddy pit: to focus on the mud around us or to look up at that mountain and watch God pave a way back up. When things come that knock us straight on our backs, take that as a opportunity to set your gaze upward and enjoy the view. Then when the time does come(which it will) you can look down on that mud pit with a new song on your lips. One that you never would have gotten if you stayed on that mountain the entire time. And the most beautiful part? ” many will see and fear and put their trust in The Lord.” as a result. You will be a living testimony, as those who saw you in the mud pit now see you on the mountaintop. Because they know there’s no way you could’ve got out of that pit by yourself, you had to have help and that song on your lips echoes off that mountain to the surrounding world and says among many things: “God is faithful”. We can be hopeful in humility because we still believe that “The Lord WILL incline His mighty ear to your cry”, be patient; the valley is what makes the mountaintop so glourious.